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Vertigo star Kim Novak says ‘The Artist’ raped her

By / 01.10.12

Michael Hazanavicius’s The Artist has been winning rave reviews and awards for essentially being a movie about classic Hollywood that’s also an overt homage to those movies, including an audio reference to Bernard Herrmann’s famous score from Hitchcock’s Vertigo during a climactic scene. But 78-year-old Vertigo star Kim Novak apparently didn’t appreciate the homage, at least, if we’re to judge by the full-page ad in Variety she took out yesterday that started with “I want to report a rape.” (full text of the ad after the jump)

In a full-page ad published Monday in the trade publication Variety, Novak wrote, “I want to report a rape. I feel as if my body — or, at least my body of work — has been violated by the movie, The Artist.”

I feel as if I’ve been repeatedly and coercively penetrated by your metaphors! Figuratively speaking.

She went on to say, “This film could and should have been able to stand on its own without depending upon Bernard Herrmann’s score from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo to provide it more drama.”
Novak called the creative decision “cheating,” adding, “Shame on them!” [THR]

The love-scene music from the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film was used as a “temp track” — temporary music used during editing — Artist composer Ludovic Bource confirmed. He wrote his own music for that scene but, he said, Hazanavicius and producer Thomas Langmann chose to stick with the temp music. (Bource’s own version is on the soundtrack album.) The six minutes and 20 seconds of Herrmann’s score for “Vertigo,” which starred Novak and James Stewart, plays during a scene late in “Artist” when despondent George (Jean Dujardin) considers suicide while his friend Peppy (Berenice Bejo) races across town to stop him. [Variety]

So… let me get this straight: You’ve been raped because a movie borrowed a theme you didn’t write from a movie you didn’t direct? I guess there’s a reason you had to pay to report this rape to a trade paper instead of the traditional method, a 911 call. In the immortal words of Whoopi Goldberg, “I don’t think it was ‘rape-rape.’”

FROM THE DESK OF
KIM NOVAK

I WANT TO REPORT A RAPE.

I FEEL AS IF MY BODY—OR, AT LEAST MY BODY OF WORK—HAS BEEN VIOLATED BY THE MOVIE, “THE ARTIST.”


The film could and should have been able to stand on its own without depending upon Bernard Herrmann’s score from Alfred Hitchcock’s VERTIGO to provide it  more drama. Much of VERTIGO‘s music was written during, not after, filming—that was the way Hitchcock worked. The Love Theme was woven musically in with the puzzle pieces of the storyline. In my opinion, the combined efforts of the composer, director, Jimmy Stewart, and myself were all violated.

I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SPEAK NOW. They didn’t need to use what I consider to be on of the most important love scenes in motion picture history by playing the VERTIGO score and using emotions it engenders as if it were their own. Even though they gave a small credit to Bernard Herrmann at the end, I believe this to be cheating, at the very least. Shame on them!

IT IS MORALLY WRONG FOR THE ARTISTRY OF OUR INDUSTRY TO USE AND ABUSE FAMOUS PIECES OF WORK TO GAIN ATTENTION AND APPLAUSE FOR OTHER THAN WHAT THEY WERE INTENDED. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO SAFEGUARD OUR SPECIAL BODIES OF WORK FOR POSTERITY, WITH THEIR ORIGINAL AND INDIVIDUAL IDENTITIES INTACT AND PROTECTED.

Kim Novak [via FoxNews]

Hazanavicius’s response:

The Artist was made as a love letter to cinema, and grew out of my (and all of my cast and crew’s) admiration and respect for movies throughout history.  It was inspired by the work of Hitchcock, Lang, Ford, Lubitsch, Murnau and Wilder. I love Bernard Herrmann and his music has been used in many different films and I’m very pleased to have it in mine. I respect Kim Novak greatly and I’m sorry to hear she disagrees. [THR]


TAGSALFRED HITCHCOCKBERNARD HERRMANNFIGHT FIGHT FIGHTKIM NOVAKLUDOVIC BOURCEMICHAEL HAZANAVICIUSNOT RAPE RAPErapeRAPEESscoresTHE ARTISTVertigo

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